European Parliamentarians Introduce Resolution To Halt Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Over Navalny
European Parliament lawmakers have introduced a resolution at Thursday's session calling to halt the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and issue new sanctions on Russia over the arrest of opposition figure Alexey Navalny.
Signed by over a dozen lawmakers from a wide array of parties, the resolution is likely to pass Thursday but is not binding in nature without the European Council.
"The European Parliament ... calls on the EU and its Member States to critically review cooperation with Russia in various foreign policy platforms and on projects such as Nord Stream 2, the completion of which the EU must stop immediately," the resolution read.
The resolution also called to expand sanctions against Russian figures close to the ruling circles and their family members who own assets and travel freely in the EU.
"The European Parliament ... urges the Council to introduce sanctions against Russian oligarchs related to the regime and members of President [Vladimir] Putin's inner circle as well as media propagandists who possess assets in the European Union and enjoy freedom of travel to the Member States," the resolution said, adding that the EU must no longer welcome Russian wealth of "unclear origin.
Navalny was detained on Sunday upon his arrival from Germany, where he was treated from his alleged poisoning, and placed in custody for 30 days for violating probation terms on an earlier embezzlement conviction. Western countries have issued statements calling for his release.
In light of the calls, the Russian Foreign Ministry advised foreign politicians to respect international law and deal with their own domestic issues. Top Russian diplomat Sergey Lavrov said that certain members of the international community used Navalny's case to shift attention away from the crisis facing the liberal model of development.
Nord Stream 2, which is currently under construction, is a planned 745-mile-long twin pipeline that will carry nearly 2 trillion cubic feet of gas annually from Russia to Germany. The pipeline is a joint project between Russia's Gazprom and several European energy giants, including Germany's Uniper and Wintershall.